As the technology landscape is constantly shifting, it’s vital that businesses keep up in order to keep their data safe.
Technology changes and updates at a rapid pace, struggling to stay ahead of the next big thing. A lot of the rush is due to capital gains of consumers wanting the latest product, but some of the reasons are attributed to security. The more tech is introduced, the more ways hackers find to get around new protocols. Much like a virus, the problem evolves, so the defense needs to develop first.
Data is often what hackers are after, whether the information is stored on a local device or a cloud server. The security on your devices may not always be enough, especially with data. Keeping data secure is a whole other ball game, but vital for making sure a company stays afloat.
Why data security is important
Keeping important information safe and out of criminal hands is a top priority for businesses, especially for those dealing with online retail. However, despite how seriously some companies take data security, things don't always work out.
Big or small businesses, anyone can be a victim of cyberattacks. In fact, 43 percent of cyberattacks affect small businesses, and 60 percent of those companies shut down within six months of the attack. Everyone handling personal information should keep data security up-to-date or else become another potential victim.
How to implement data security
Part of keeping technology up-to-date is making sure the IT team is as ahead of the curve as can be. A strong IT department is where data security starts. Human error is the cause of 52 percent of data breaches, so everyone should be using their best practices.
Every IT professional under your guidance needs to have a particular set of skills to be effective in the years to come. Security skills have to pertain to analysis, investigation, cloud architecture, application development and the Internet of Things. They should have customer service expertise, as well as risk analysis and negotiation, data management and communication skills.
The IT department should be minimized as much as possible to keep everyone in the company from having access to private information. IT employees should know where all the data is and how to keep everything safe. Also, there should be reliable malware protection software on all devices running regular scans, as well as backups for critical and sensitive data.
When using technology with the data, either for storage, transport or other means, security is still the priority. An application or program handling data should have encryption software and be using HTTPS while online so no one can find data in transit. Authentication credentials should also be necessary. While typing in a username and password every time someone wants to use the program can be annoying, having top security is worth the extra hassle.
What consumers need
Customer-centric businesses are becoming the new normal, and a customer's private information should be the most vital aspect of your company. Companies like Equifax experienced vicious cyberattacks in 2017, leading to loss of customer data and a general distrust among the public. Not only did they lose information, but they also lost a lot of their customer base.
Consumers are tired of worrying about handing their information to companies. They want to know upfront what they're putting on the line and what the business is doing to protect them. Transparency about data security protocols could help get more business. It might be best to feature a security and privacy page on your company’s website, detailing what you’re doing to ensure customer data is being handled securely and showcasing any certifications. In the end, when it comes to transparency, it’s better to have some than nothing at all. If a customer's questions about security are swept aside, they will likely take their business elsewhere.
Staying on the ball
Keeping up with the latest technology trends can be a never-ending and challenging task. A smart and dedicated professional IT team is integral. If any transactions are handled online or consumer data is stored anywhere, then hackers will want a piece of the pie. Protect the company and customers by having the best security before an attack happens.
Author: Nathan Sykes is a business and tech enthusiast and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. You can find more posts from him on Finding an Outlet.